Shawn struggled as he tried to push his way through the crowd of reporters. The feeling of being some famous film star surrounded by people vying for his attention quickly disappeared by an elbow in his side and the harsh flash of cameras going off in his face, blinding him. The sea of people felt endless, but he eventually managed to get to the other side, ignoring the shouting and the questions as he pulled on his helmet, started the engine and sped out of there way past the speed limit.
Even miles away from his apartment, he still felt like he was struggling against something, still finding it hard to breathe and he couldn't help but swear until he ran out of words to say.
When he skidded into the parking lot outside the Psych office, he was surprised and relieved to find the second pack of reporters were missing from the little campsite they had set up outside the office. He swung his leg over the bike, pulled his helmet off and ruffled up his helmet hair before striding over to the office.
He found himself surprised again when he found a familiar face standing in the middle of the office, her face serious.
"Jules," he greeted with a smile. "Did you get rid of the savages outside? I thought they'd never leave, they're outside my apartment too you know, I seriously don't know where they all came from-"
"-Shawn," she interrupted sternly, her normally relaxed and pleasant demeanour gone from her face.
"It's good to see you," Shawn continued, "I haven't seen you at all since this whole thing started." He made a step towards her and she quickly took a step back. Her eyes avoided his. "Jules what is it?"
"I've come to tell you that the Santa Barbara Police will no longer be asking for your help on cases. It's over," she told him
"You're sorry?" She asked, her eyes finally meeting his. "You're sorry?" She repeated. "You've been lying to everyone for two years now, you've been lying to me."
Shawn took another step towards her. "I did it to help people."
She shook her head. "Doesn't matter now does it? Everyone knows you're a fraud. Everyone knows you've been lying to the police all this time and there's no going back from this." She took a step towards Shawn. "Goodbye Shawn," she said, she made a move to walk past him when he grasped her arm gently.
"I persuaded Lassiter not to start an investigation into you, that's the last favour I ever do you," she said before pulling her arm away from him and disappearing out of the door.
Shawn didn't bother going after her, knowing how little she would appreciate it. He dropped down into his chair wearily and reached out blindly for his rubber frog. He wouldn't liken it to a security blanket, but that frog had always been there and always helped him think more clearly if he was squeezing it until the eyes popped out. The frog was missing. Shawn turned his eyes towards his desk, his eyes landing on the file for their latest case, the case that had caused all this.
He wished he had someone to blame, he wished he could shout at someone for everything that had happened but no, it had been him that had been careless. One stupid mistake, one phone call to Gus about the case while a private detective listened in, recording the whole damn thing. A private detective hired by his client to check up on him.
He'd woken up the next day to find his face plastered over every local newspaper, an army of reporters outside his apartment and Gus shouting down the phone.
He pushed the file until it fell off the other side of the desk, the papers falling out and scattering over the floor. "Stupid," he muttered, not really knowing whether he was talking about the case that had caused all this mess or himself.
His eyes suddenly fell on a post-it note stuck to his desk. He reached over and peeled it away from the wood.
We need to talk.
There was no name underneath, but Shawn recognised the handwriting. He scrunched the note up into a ball, throwing it and watching as it fell easily into the waste paper basket. He smiled at the mini-triumph, silently wishing Gus was there so he could show off but his smile faded quickly as he glanced over at the empty chair opposite him.
Finally he lifted himself up to his feet and made his way to the door. He could already see the reporters reforming and he sighed. He grabbed his helmet from the nearby table and walked briskly towards his bike, hoping he wasn't noticed.
"Mr Spencer! Mr Spencer!" He heard calling to him as he climbed back on his bike. He pretended he couldn't hear as he started the bike and pulled out of the parking lot.
It took him fifteen minutes to reach his destination, happy that he'd managed to elongate the normally five minute journey to put off the inevitable waiting for him inside the house. He took in a deep breath before walking around the house and entering through the garden. He found his father reading a paper on the porch.
"Got your note," Shawn said and Henry looked up from the newspaper "Forgotten what a phone is?"
Henry smirked, he folded the paper up and waved it at Shawn. "Nice photo."
"I really don't think they caught my best side," Shawn replied flippantly.
Henry rose from his seat with a wince, ignoring the twinge in his back as he straightened up. He turned his back to Shawn and stepped into the house. "You know what happened this morning?" Henry asked, knowing his son had followed him inside. "I was woken this morning by a phone call. It was a reporter from the Santa Barbara Herald wanting to know if I wanted to make a comment on the news that my son had been outed as a fake psychic."
"Aww, did it cut into your eight and half hours?" Shawn asked.
Henry spun around. "You should have told me," he told Shawn. "I shouldn't have to find something like that from a reporter."
"I've been a little busy Dad, had a few other things on my mind."
"Wow, well don't I feel important," Henry replied sarcastically, he turned back around and headed into the kitchen. He yanked open the fridge and pulled out a soda. The can hissed as he opened it and he took a large gulp.
Shawn rolled his eyes following his dad into the kitchen. "Are you going to make a big deal out of this?"
Henry looked at his son, placing the can down on the nearest surface "Question is," he began, tilting his head to one side. "Why aren't you making a bigger deal out of this?" Shawn looked down at the ground, his fingers fiddling with the corner of the chipped work surface. "What has the PD said?" He asked.
Shawn shrugged. "They want nothing to do with me," he answered.
"He's getting some hassle at work," Shawn looked up at Henry. "He's not happy with me…and that's putting it lightly."
"Shawn, are you taking this seriously? I mean really seriously?"
"You mean this isn't just some huge practical joke?" Shawn retorted.
"You have the press on your tail, the police don't wanna know you, Gus is pissed at you and I have nothing to offer except a big fat I told you so."
"Do you not realise that you have nothing now? Even without cases from the police, you really think you're gonna get private cases now?"
"Thanks for not sugar coating it, Dad," Shawn snapped. "I get it, I do."
"Yeah? Well, what are you going to do about it?"
Shawn sighed "I haven't really thought that far ahead."
"No," Henry agreed with a nod. "Thinking ahead was never your strong suit."
"Okay," Shawn walked out of the kitchen. "I haven't had the best day, and this isn't helping."
"What are you going to do, Shawn?" Henry asked, following Shawn.
"I don't know!"
"Well start thinking!" Henry sped up and headed Shawn off before he could escape out the door. He blocked the exit.
"Dad," Shawn said wearily. "Let me go."
"Look," Henry began. "I can't believe I'm suggesting this, considering how much I've hated it when you've done it in the past but-"
Henry sighed, rubbing a hand over his balding head. "Maybe you should take off for a while, get out of town until the heat dies down."
Shawn sucked in a deep breath. "You want me to go?"
"Not forever, just for now," Henry tried to explain.
Shawn nodded, unable to look his dad in the eye. "I understand."
Henry took a step away from the door. "I told you this would happen," he reminded him quietly. "I told you it wouldn't last forever."
"I never thought it would," Shawn lied before brushing past his father and jogging down the steps.
He briefly considered turning up at Gus', but realised his presence probably wouldn't be appreciated and finding the nearest bar sounded appetizing and would stay that way until he was recognized and there were questions he just wasn't ready to answer. He settled for his apartment, even thought he knew what was waiting for him outside.
For a second time that day, he pushed through the crowd and fell out the other side, pushing through the building's entrance and ran up the two flights of stairs to his apartment. He was tired but at least he was alone and it was quiet. He dropped his keys and his helmet on the couch.
The newspaper sitting on the kitchen table was quickly thrown in the trash and Shawn felt better knowing the reminder of what was happening outside his apartment was out of sight. He wants me to go Shawn thought as he paced up and down the room. They want nothing to do with me….Jules, Gus, Dad. It took him less than a minute to realize what he had to do.
It was dark outside when he left, the reporters off filing stories or whatever they did when they weren't stalking people.
He'd packed the important stuff, not that he had a lot of belongings. Most of the crap in his place was from his many eBay shopping sprees and he knew Gus would enjoy sticking them all back on the market and making a little money.
He climbed onto his bike before pulling out his cell phone. He pressed speed dial, knowing he would get the answering machine. The tone beeped and he began to speak.
"Hi Dad…I just wanted to say…..you were right…..Goodbye Dad," he flipped the phone shut and tucked it away. He turned on the engine and drove away,